Day 275- 280 (5th June – 10th June) – Cape Town

21 06 2011

As our overnight bus approached Cape Town the day broke and the mist cleared; the vista was phenomenal. Distant rocky, craggy mountains gently warmed by the slowly rising sun, stunning.

A night on a plane and then a night on a bus with no shower in 48 hours – I can’t imagine what Ronnie must have been thinking, or smelling on that journey back to Darling. Sorry Ronnie!

We were staying with Ronnie and Alexis at their lovely house in Darling, 45 minutes north of Cape Town. We are glad for the hospitality, great food, warm bed and open fire as it is bitterly cold out. I say bitterly cold, it was probably just chilly, but we were feeling it as there was probably a 30-35 degree drop in temperature from Thailand.

Ronnie had kindly lent us a car for the week for the purpose of sightseeing and general exploration. After much eating, resting and catching up, our first trip was unsurprisingly into Cape Town. We jumped on a sightseeing bus which gave us a good impression of the city – what we saw we liked. For winter the weather was great, it felt more like a spring day, clear and fresh. The centre of town was clean, modern and safe and some suburbs boasted stunning multi million pound homes. However, I don’t think the open top bus was taking us to the more ‘unsavoury’ parts of town. But, the drive through District 6 exposed Cape Towns ugly past. District 6 is an area of Cape Townthat during those wonderful apartheid years the government thought that the mixing of blacks and whites within one residential area was a bad idea. They therefore stirred up much anger by forcedly evicting all residents, black and white to tear down all homes. The waste land that was created from the bulldozing has been left as a poignant reminder of the cruelty of the apartheid regime.

Table Mountain is a must for any trip to Cape Town– situated almost in the centre of Cape Townthis huge granite (monolith) dominates the horizon and on a clear day offers superb views over the city of 3.4 million, the rugged coastline with its white sands and aquamarine water; and even Ronnie and Alexis’s house 75km away.

We made the very rewarding road trip all the way down to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the cold waters of theAtlantic Ocean meet. The drive along the winding coastal road was breath taking; I’ve never found it so hard to keep a car and my eyes on a road before. We were well warned of the presence and danger of baboons in the car park at Cape Point and not to feed them. However, after parking up and taking our things out of the boot we came back to the car to find a very cheeky baboon sat in the driver’s seat! Not wanting to antagonise something with such big and pointy teeth, I tried shooing it out of the car unsuccessfully. He did come out once he had grabbed what he thought was food and made a run for it.

It would have been a sin to come to South Africa and not taste some of its wonderful white wine and with a great winery 100 metres down the road this is what we did – along with olives, cheeses, chutneys, jams, chocolate and other gout inducing delicacies.

The rest of our time was spent preparing for our very exciting overland Africa trip. The trip will see us start in Cape Town, South Africa and finish in Nairobi, Kenya 41 days later, travelling through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. We will spend most nights camping out under the African sky and eating local food in the bush. We really can’t wait to begin the adventure and our final leg on our round the world trip..!

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